DHL Express will soon expand its own 737-800F fleet with at least three more aircraft.
The Germany-based company acquired three 737-800s from Spectre Air Capital, one of which was recently converted into a freighter and will be given to Florida-headquartered iAero Airways to operate on a CMI basis [FATs 005836-5837].
The newly converted 737-800BDSF (29668, ex-Jet Airways) was acquired Dec. 28. The other two 737-800s (30467, ex-SAS; and 30499, ex-Shenzhen Airlines) were acquired earlier in December 2020 and are parked in Marana (MZJ), still in passenger configuration.
DHL told Cargo Facts that it expects IAI to begin converting the aircraft in the first quarter of 2021, and confirmed they will also be deployed in the U.S. domestic network, but did not yet name a carrier.
Unit 29668 is the first 737-800 to be converted by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) at the Mexicana MRO Services facility in Mexico City (MEX), having been inducted in late July. The aircraft was ferried on Dec. 24 to San Bernardino (SBD), where the AeroPro and Unical MRO facilities are located.
iAero Airways has already been operating DHL’s first two 737-800BDSFs (30498 and 28619) since May 2020.
All five of DHL’s 737-800s so far have been acquired from Spectre, which told Cargo Facts it will continue to be involved in managing the conversion of units 30467 and 30499.
Meanwhile, the express integrator also confirmed that a recently completed 767-300BDSF (33087, ex-American Airlines) will enter service with its own Bahrain-based airline, DHL International. The 767 had arrived at MEX in July and was ferried to Shannon (SNN) on Dec. 20 for maintenance and paint.
Unit 33087 will be the first 767-300BDSF for DHL International, which currently operates six 767-200BDSFs.
In December, DHL confirmed to Cargo Facts its plans to add 737-800 freighters to its Asia-Pacific network with the ACMI-lease of a 737-800BCF from Thailand-based K-Mile Air — an affiliate of ASL Aviation Holdings. The first aircraft is expected to operate on DHL’s behalf beginning in March 2021. Cargo Facts believes the most likely candidate is unit 33596 (ex-Ryanair), which ASL sent to Jinan (TNA) for conversion by Boeing in October 2020.